In Comfort Foods Cooking Dave's Naturals Overnight Oats Food and Drink Health

More Goodness From Dave: Dave's Natural Overnight Oats

It seems that since adopting a vegan diet, I am spending a lot more time in the kitchen.  Like, a whole lot more!  Not that it bothers me, since an aspect of knowing what's really going into your body is to have a hand in preparing it.  Another aspect of knowing the ins and outs of what you're digesting is to keep your ingredients clean, fresh and untainted whenever possible.

So it came as no surprise that whenever I buy things other than fruits and vegetables now, I scan labels like a hawk.  Whatever is on that label has to make my kitchen experience as close to clean as the fresh kale I wilt up with garlic & EVOO and as close to unrefined as the beans I soak then slow-cook up for my vegan and MSG-free Caribbean jerk chili.

With this in mind, when I came across a new product from one of my favorite hot sauce brands, I became quite interested.  The interest wasn't sparked due to the brand's sharing of my name (which I love btw), but rather, if Dave's Gourmet Hot Sauces could hold so much flavor and five alarm heat then what wonderful tastes could be expected from Dave's Naturals Overnight Oats?

In reference to my kitchen expectations, Dave's Naturals Overnight Oats keep the ingredients simple & recognizable and body-edifying & nutritious.  They taste really good too.  The idea is as simple as the ingredients of organic whole grain oats, organic cane sugar, chia seeds, oat bran, sea salt and natural ingredients.  Those ingredients differ depending on the flavor you get and there are four wonderful flavors like Apple Nut, Blueberry Vanilla Almond, Mixed Berry and Cinnamon Raisin to choose from.  The preparation is just as simple as the ingredients.  Cover the oats with your favorite type of milk, refrigerate overnight then stir and enjoy the next morning cold or zap in the microwave for 2 minutes for a hot start to your day.  The lid makes it a great food to enjoy while commuting while the 9 grams of protein and the 6 grams of fiber make it a great healthy gluten-free option for breakfast.  If I'm going to opt for something convenient along my culinary journey then I'd like it to still be body-beneficial (it baring my name is just extra brown sugar on my oatmeal).  

Find Dave's Naturals Overnight Oats at their website here.

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In Comfort Foods Cooking Food and Drink Sahara Dates

The Snack That Dates Back: Sahara Date Company

Every now and then something comes along that the public laps up like the spiked punch of a pour-it-yourself makeshift bar at a neighborhood house party.  We, as a public, have a tendency to think the next big thing just popped up yesterday when in fact many great things exist and have existed right under our noses for ages.  Such is the case with a fruit known as the World's Oldest Health Food; the date. 
I'll let you research the health benefits of the date on your own time.  Then you'll uncover it's potassium rich goodness, richness in minerals, fiber & potassium and its being a great substitute to processed sugars in baking and cooking.  What I would like to introduce to you at this time are the saccharine dates of the Sahara Date Company.  The Virginia-based company founded by two cousins, Maile Ramzi and Jean Houpert, source their 100% natural dates from Saudi Arabia and offer a nice array of various kinds like Sukkary and Khudry.  All of their dates are offered in four packaged sizes which makes them handy to either keep in the refrigerator for recipes or to toss in your bag for a snack on the go.  

Speaking of recipes, also offers up some great recipes involving their dates like sweet breads and delectable pastries.  They also work great in a smoothie.  In these times of additives, preservatives and not quite knowing what's in your food, it's good to rediscover and reconnect to natural food with natural flavor.  
 Ajwa: syrupy sweetness with a slight prune flavor

 Khudry: deep sweet caramel flavor

 Saggae: lighter flavor that reminds me of light brown sugar

 Sukkary: light buttery and toffee nods

Varieties of Sahara Dates can be found at select WholeFoods and all varieties and sizes can be purchased on their website

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In Knomo Bags Mens Mens Accessories Mens Bags Mens lifestyle

My Life Is In The Bag: Knomo London

Admittedly I've done some questionable things in and about my way through this inspiring yet increasingly annoying city.  I've risked running extremely late by turning back from the subway to retrieve a vital organ; my cellphone.  There's been numerous times that my trip to Wholefoods to buy one pint of blueberries turned into me being laden with three bags of groceries on a packed subway ride home.  Then I cannot forget that time I spent almost a minute wondering why my Metrocard wouldn't swipe only to find out, after giving icy stares to the token booth clerk, that I'd been trying to swipe my ATM card.  

In all these instances, if I'd been a tad more organized I could've avoided myself some frustrating occurrences.  What if had a sweet spot to rest my cellphone instead of relying on my jean pocket?  What if I had a little convenient slot to neatly slip a couple of collapsible canvas shopping totes?  What if I had a dedicated slip for my Metrocard so that I wouldn't have to dig into the kerfuffle that is my wallet?  How about Knomo London?
Knomo London is a modern accessories line whose bags, sleeves, agendas, packs, etc have all the nooks and crannies to keep the essentials you tote around together especially when you (or life) falls apart.  The key phrase with Knomo is modern convenience.  A typical day nowadays can start with a simple agenda then spiral out of control ending up with bullet points, revisions and other insertions.  That's where Knomo's handling of slots, pockets and sleeves comes in splendidly to make you stay organized throughout your day's journey.  The icing on the cake is that the brand leaves you no less stylishly-equipped for the irregularities of your day with colors, styles and versatile styles that speak to starting out professionally at work, but ending up with cocktails at karaoke.  

Knomo works with various fabrications like clean nylons, supple leathers and forward textiles for the cosmopolitan individual on-the-go who requires the most from their bags.  Two-fold clothing is becoming what men who have diverse schedules are gravitating towards and their accessories following suit makes perfect sense.  Knomo bags have uniformity in the sizing of their various pocket dimensions to ensure gadget interchangeability with ease in switching from, for example, their Holborn soft briefcase to their Beaufort backpack.   The color options and pairings from Knomo range from appropriately fresh & bold to neutrally lifestyle-friendly.  Then they take it a step further with the infusion of technology into their collections.  For example, their Dalston Collection features slots that can accommodate the Knomo ecosystem of portable batteries, charging cables and a travel adaptor.  More recently the brand has introduced their DropGo system for charging your smartphones wirelessly and KnomoID which allows you to register your bag in case it should get lost.  On the style side for Fall, Knomo has collaborated with the archive collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London for a limited-edition collection utilizing vintage prints from the 1920's that evoke the feeling of a modern camouflage. 

Some could look at it as overkill, but if you enter your day or commute more organized then you can go through the day rest assured that the last things you'll have to worry about are your daily 'vitals' becoming unreliable.  Knomo is on a great track to get you equipped to tackle the hustle and bustle season after season.  Worry-free is always a great way to start your trip.  Now pack your Metrocard, neatly tuck the latest GQ, remember your passport and get going!

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In Cocktails Cooking Drinks Entertaining Food and Drink Ubons

A Better Brunch With Mary: Ubons Bloody Mary Mixes

Brunch anyone?  It is Sunday morning after all.  No matter what you choose to munch on for this melange of breakfast and lunch, a bellini or a mimosa could work well as an accompaniment.  However, if you want the quintessential classic brunch libation then it's got to be a Bloody Mary.  Briny and savory, a brunch Bloody Mary can be the perfect hello for an early afternoon Sunday nosh or the quintessential cure to get over the previous night's imbibing.

Making one can be a bit laborious though.  This is exactly why I'm glad I discovered Ubons and their amazing Bloody Mary mixes.  These mixes are part of a fifth generation family recipe that started with a sauce perfected by Ubon Roark, the patriarch of the Roark family.  The versatility of that sauce,  that inspired family and friends, has now turned into savory Bloody Mary mixes.  
The first sauce is Ubons Pittmaker's Hot & Spicy Bloody Mary Mix which is chock full of the classic Bloody Mary seasonings plus the added spiciness of chiles and of course the patented kick of Papa Ubon's piquant recipe.  It gives a heated kick to a Bloody Mary or Maria while Ubons BBQ Bloody Mary Mix tailors the Ubons recipe to make a satisfyingly smoky drink with a touch of sweet and tangy.  Both mixes are excellent timesavers that can make an incredibly satisfying Bloody Mary or Maria.  What could be more timesaving than taking 4 parts Ubons and 1 part vodka or tequila to make a flavorful brunch staple?  It's that simple and that tasty.  Now you can spend the extra time perfecting that poached egg dish for brunch.

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In Comfort Foods Entertaining Food and Drink

When Snacking Goes Right: Pistachio-based Snacks

My favorite nut just got even better.  I have this compulsion, as recurring as it is, that makes it so that I can never eat just one pistachio.  I am convinced that there's a hidden natural additive in pistachios that makes them addictive.  Many are the times that I've just sat somewhere and blindly cracked open salty delicious shell after shell after shell practically inhaling them.  There's something to that distinct earthy flavor that makes a pistachio a perfect pairing with sweet or salty.  How delightful was I to discover these two following brands at a recent 'Snack Attack' Showcase here in New York City.

Giants Sweet and Salty Pistachios are a highly delicious and addictive snack.  This company knows a thing or two about snacks since they've been around since 1958 when founder Bob Schuler started the company with sunflower seeds.  Take the nuttiness of the pistachio and then add the experience of sweet & salty like that of having kettle-cooked popcorn and you'll understand the flavor profile better.  This is a great snack to have along with beer, cocktails or on an eclectic fruit/nut/cheese platter.

Next up, Setton Farms Dark Chocolate Pistachios bring two depths full circle.  That full-bodied flavor  of a sweet and rich dark chocolate marries with the earthy and robust pop of a pistachio for a nice outcome.  These pistachios are premium California grown and are also made in small batches to ensure a better, more flavorful and complete product.  These go great with an after dinner digestif or tossed in with seeds, dried fruits and other nuts for a more livelier trail mix.

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